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9.2.4 Access to service medical documents and responsibility for retrieval
The issue of access to these medical documents and the employees statutory obligations to provide medical certification of injury with the claim form has already been dealt with in this Handbook at 6.5. However, for the sake of completeness of this present instruction, the following extracts from 6.5 are repeated here:
Delegates should be aware that full-time ADF members are not permitted to access medical attention other than through the ADF Health Service so that any injury whilst serving could not be recorded anywhere else other than the employee's medical file. Because RCG is in fact the employer's (i.e. the ADF's) insurer, these records are deemed to be already in RCG's possession.
However for practical purposes the initial onus is on the employee to obtain and supply the relevant supporting medical evidence. This merely means that Delegates can ask the client to produce copies of the relevant folios from the ADF Medical File. This is a matter of administrative convenience and particularly appropriate where the member is still serving and therefore has greater access to the medical file than does DVA.
Delegates should however take over this task where the employee is having trouble meeting this requirement.
Clients declining to participate in the recovery of Defence documents should not, in view of the Commonwealth's status as the owner of the medical records, be penalised in any way for this refusal. The Delegate should instead undertake a prompt document search by means of a DOCTRACKER request to the SAM team. In the case of a discharged member, the request should also be made through SAM.